From Mainframe to NoSQL – Part 1

Many years ago, I left college armed with a Computer Science degree, a marked-up copy of a first edition K&R, a job offer and full expectation that my freshly minted C skills would soon be honed in the real world (yes plain old C, which was considered new and up-and-coming at the time). Like many things in life however, reality worked out somewhat differently from my plans and I quickly found myself on a project steeped in all things mainframe, including COBOL, CICS and JCL. While I eventually made my way to newer technologies, I spent a fair bit of my early formative professional years writing COBOL code. And while it’s true that at the time I was eager to move on to newer “cooler” things (and eventually did), looking back retrospectively I can’t help but feel thankful for the then-unwanted opportunity and now look back on those years with more than a bit of nostalgia.
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The Mighty Text Box

The text box. It started humbly enough, a simple UI element, a Hello World of graphical widgets that to this day still reminds us that even after the introduction of computer pointing devices, the good old keyboard (including the virtual kind) has maintained an outsized place as an input mechanism.  And while natural language processing (NLP) is still considered the eventual nirvana of human to computer interaction, we by and large rely on text entry as our window into computers and the information world today.
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What is Data?

“90 percent of the world’s data was created in the last two years” was the primary theme of a Science Daily article from March of 2013. ¬†Those of us in the Big Data trade happily used this sound bite, oftentimes coupled with the “80 percent of data is unstructured” sound bite to drive home the point that the world of data processing is in for some (capital B) Big changes in the years ahead. And we’re all happy to be part of this coming wave.
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